Disney World has five resort categories, with several resorts in each category. The categories include Deluxe villas, deluxe resort hotels, moderate resort hotels, value resort hotels, and campgrounds. The cost of each resort varies from expensive to inexpensive as you go from deluxe villa to campground.
In April, we had the opportunity to do a split stay. We spent four nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village and four nights at Disney’s Boardwalk Resorts. Both were very different experiences. In this blog post I will review our stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Animal Kingdom Lodge has two locations, Kidani Village and Jambo House. They are neighboring buildings approximately 3/4 miles apart when walking from entrance to entrance. A shuttle is also available to bring you from one location to another. When you are a guest at either location, you can use the pool at both and enjoy anything else there is to offer (playground, daily activities).
Both locations had beautiful pools and kid areas with slides. My in-laws were staying at Jambo house when we were at Kidani, so we spent a pool day there. The pool at Jambo House was bigger and just as beautiful, but the kids said the slide was faster at Kidani.
Both locations had the same ambiance, safari-like and dark, with bark and animal images throughout.
Kidani and Jambo House both offered buses to all of the theme parks.
The Similarities and Differences at At Animal Kingdom’s Jambo House and Kidani Village.
Animal Kingdom’s Kidani and Jambo house had many similarities: pool, kids area, night s’mores, movie nights, arts and crafts, and a community hall. The main difference was the dining options. Kidani had fewer options for informal dining. Both had a pool bar with snacks, nachos, pretzels, and a foot-long hot dog.
Kidani also homed Sanaa, a primarily African-based restaurant. We did not eat here. However, my husband adored the smells as we passed by!
Jambo House had more dining options. Jiko is a fine dining, African-themed restaurant. Adult entrees here range from $38 to $54, and children’s options range from $10-$15. Like most other restaurants, appetizers, and enhancements are available. Boma is also located at Jambo House; we did not eat here. However, my in-laws had dinner here, and they loved it. This is an African-style buffet restaurant. Although I heard several great things about the food, I just could not come to terms with paying $32 per child; they don’t eat that much, especially my son. The cost just wasn’t worth it for us. Adults cost $54, which I feel may be worth the cost.
One of the most significant advantages of Jambo House is the Mara. Here you can grab quick service meals throughout the day. This ranges from breakfast sandwiches and waffles at breakfast. Lunch and dinner offer simple burgers, chicken, flatbreads, and salad at lunch or various African-themed bowls. Desserts and snacks are also available. As close as Jambo house is to Kidani, I would have liked the ease of having a dining option like this just downstairs from our room.
Our favorite parent of Animal Kingdom Lodge was the animals. We were lucky enough to have a balcony room with a safari view. The children loved this! We were able to sit outside and watch the animals stroll on by. We had never experienced this, and I do not think the kids would forget it. Walking through the hotel on the safari side had many large windows where you could stop to watch the animals. Rocking chairs we placed on porches where you could sit and relax while watching the animals.
Overall thoughts on Animal Kingdom Lodge
We had a great four days at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The decor was fitting; the pool area was fun and relaxing at the same time. Additionally, the animals were the best part. However, Animal Kingdom Lodge is not my preferred resort. To match the theme, it was a dark hotel. The walkways and hallways were dark, and the decor and furniture were dark. I prefer something bright and welcoming. I am glad we did have the opportunity to experience this and feel that it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance. But, if I had to choose, I would pick a different resort.
My money-saving tip for Disney, buy everything you need before you go! Check out some of my suggestions.
Interested in more Disney World reviews? We ate at Be Our Guest, and the reviews were mixed. Check out what we thought in the link below.
6 thoughts on “Deluxe Villas at Disney World, Are They Worth it?”
My family loves Disney! I’ll send their way for their next vacation there! Thanks for the tips!
Thank you! I hope they have a fabulous trip!
Worth the read
It sounds like such an immersive and well thought out experience and place/s to stay (especially for families with younger children). Fab post!
We went nearly 20 years ago and this was a real neat way to see how things have progressed!